15 Amazing Health Benefits of Running You Did Not Know

15 Amazing Health Benefits of Running You Did Not Know

Running is a popular form of exercise for a reason. It doesn’t need much equipment, and you can do it just about anywhere or anytime it is convenient for you.

Running offers many benefits including improving your fitness and boosting your mood. Regular exercise like running can give you a quality of life, a healthier heart, better sleep, and improved immunity, mood, and health benefits. It’s even good for your knees and lowers back!

If you've been wondering whether or not you should start running, read on to learn about the benefits of running that may help you get started. You never know, you might end up being one who gets up before sunrise and run for miles before heading to work.

Running increases your lifespan

A study found that persistent runners gain about three extra years of life. Some of the benefits in runners' biological mechanisms include greater cardiovascular fitness; better body composition; lower bad cholesterol levels; excellent blood sugar and insulin control; stronger bones; better hormonal regulation; and improved neurological functioning.

Most of us don't just want to live longer; we want to live better. That’s why a high-impact activity like running is so effective.

Running helps you sleep better

Sleep may be particularly important for athletes. After all, it’s when the body performs all its repair work.

Experts at Johns Hopkins say that exercise helps you fall asleep faster and improves sleep quality.  If you're not sleeping well, you're probably not exercising regularly.

Other than doing a hard interval workout within an hour of bedtime, other evening exercises improved the ease of falling asleep and the quality of sleep.

Good quality sleep is essential for your overall health. When you sleep, your body repairs itself, so you feel rested and increase your energy levels. Try not to run too late at night. It can interfere with your sleep at night. Exercise triggers the release of endorphins which help relieve pain or stress They may help you stay awake.

Running improves your knees and back

People often believe that running must be bad for the joints. More importantly, everyone knows some runners who developed knee pain and had to switch to biking.

It’s true that sedentary, unfit adults have worse knee and lower back problems than most runners.

A study comparing 675 marathon runners found that even ultra-marathoners fared better than the general population. Researchers found that the extreme running burden doesn't seem to negatively affect knee joints.

They were less likely to develop arthritis than other people. Both the runners' knees and backs were improved by running. Running helps prevent back pain as you get older.

Running helps you lose weight

Running burns more calories than most activities. It is indisputable that exercise regularly can lead to weight loss. Physical fitness also leads to a multitude of other benefits. Running burns roughly 100 calories per mile.

According to a 2018 study, healthy people who exercise for at least 150 minutes per day can lose more weight than those who exercise for fewer than 150 minutes per week. It takes time and effort, healthy weight appears to profoundly enhance all aspects of life.

Running improves your immunity

An exercise physiologist, David Nieman, summarizes: "Moderate exercise on a regular basis improves immune function, ultra-endurance training can lower immune function, and dark red/blueberries help your body stay healthy".

A 2019 study found that there is a connection between running and the body's immune system. They found that running improves the body’s ability to fight off diseases, lowers inflammation, enhances gut microbiota composition, reduces the risk of chronic disease, and reduces respiratory infections.

Running improves cognitive function

Running increases heart rate and blood flow, which helps burn calories. Oxygen-rich blood is pumped to the brain. It’s difficult to imagine that this wouldn’t turn out to be a very good thing for you.

Running may improve brain health by stimulating the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This protein helps support the growth and survival of brain cells.

A study showed that high fitness levels improve total brain volume, including grey matter. Even if you don't start running until mid-life, you still gain protection from the kinds of brain plaques linked to Alzheimer's disease.

Running reduces the risk of many cancers

A study published in 2016 found that doing cardio exercise for at least 30 minutes three times per week was associated with a lower risk of cancer.

High-fitness exercisers were less likely to develop 26 different kinds of cancer compared to low- and non-exercisers. The benefits of exercise were not traceable to either smoking or low body weight. Physical activity had some special properties that lowered cancer risk.

Running improves heart health

Cardiovascular exercise helps the heart beat faster to pump more blood and oxygen, and nutrients to your working muscles. With consistent training, your heart and lungs will eventually adapt.

Your heart gets stronger, enabling it to beat faster, and your lungs get bigger, allowing them to take in more oxygen. As your cardiovascular health increases, you can run faster with less effort.

Running, or jogging is one of the most effective aerobic activities you can do for your health. Running for at least ten minutes a day can significantly reduce your cause and CVD mortality, and risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Running improves mortality reduction from heart disease by half.

Not only does it lower your risk of heart disease, but it also lowers your risk of blood pressure, the number of times you beat your heart per minute when you're at rest.

It's an important indicator of your general well-being. The slower the heart rate, the more efficiently your body uses oxygen.

Running builds muscular strength

As long as you're providing your body with enough calories to fuel your workouts and enough protein to support your muscles, daily running can help build muscles and increase strength.

Consistent running is an excellent total-body workout because it strengthens your legs, core, and upper body.

Running increases bone density

Studies have shown that regular running causes stress on bones which stimulates them to adapt by laying more minerals within the bone matrix to strengthen the structure.

Running increases the body's production of the bone-building hormone, which stimulates the body to make more bone cells and inhibits the activity of cells that destroy bones. It reduces the risk of osteoarthritis greatly.  Strong bones are less likely to have risk of injury.

Running reduces stress

Running or walking in your daily routine is a great way to enhance your psychological functioning, and relieve stress levels. Running can help lower your levels of cortisol, which helps you feel more relaxed.

Running is attainable

You don't need any special equipment to start running. As for the right gear, having the right equipment will keep you comfortable in all seasons. For example, you might want warmer layers for winter runs and wind-resistant gear for fall runs.

Running improves your mood

The “runner's high” isn't some elusive wonder; instead, it's a rush of mood-enhancing endorphins brought on by a long-distance endurance race.

A good run can leave you feeling proud, capable, powerful, and even elated, but finishing one can also leave you feeling drained, tired, and even depressed. Running can help alleviate symptoms of depression and stabilize your mood.

Active people often run because they want to improve their health.  Exercise boosts your mood, concentration, energy, and overall quality of your life. Running gives you a "runner's high."

Running can get you back to nature

If you decide to run outside, running provides a chance to disconnect from technology and connects you with nature. So much of our life takes place indoors, but research shows that working out outdoors confer­ses significant mental health benefits over working out indoors.

Whether you find a serene wooded trail or a nearby park, getting outside while doing physical exercise like running is a sure way to absorb some vitamin D and fresh air.

Running can help you socially

There are thousands of local running groups and running clubs across the country (and the world), enabling new and veteran runners to connect and enjoy their leisure time running together.

You might meet a whole new group of friends in the running club and develop relationships that last for life.

Health and safety tips

  • Eat a healthy, well-rounded diet.
  • Don't eat right before running.
  • Don't run when it's hot out.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout your workout.
  • Take your mobile phone everywhere.
  • If using an iPod, don't play the music too loudly. Stay alert and aware.
  • If you're running in the dark, wear reflective material.
  • Let them know where you're going and when you expect to return.
  • Choose well-lit and populated routes and avoid dangerous or isolated areas.

Final Thoughts

Running isn't just about putting on your running shoes and heading out. Running is a high-intensity daily activity, and vigorous exercise, so you need to progress at slower speeds over time and build up your mileage, and endurance.

If you haven't been doing daily exercise at all for a long time, just start walking. Increase your distance and speed each time you go out. Walking breaks give your body a chance to rest and also change up the demands on your legs.

Running is an exercise routine that takes longer to adapt to than your cardiovascular system does to adapt to aerobic demands. So, if you're new to running, start slowly and gradually increase your mileage.